well hi there, I hope you’ve had a great week?

mine has been pretty good, thanks for asking, presumptuous of me to think that you would ask, but hey come on, am i wrong assuming that you are polite? 

of course not, the reason you’re reading the bigmoose blog is because you are a special kind of person, and i know that you would be interested.

well i’m glad we cleared that up!

i get a bit scared saying week after week that my week has been great, amazing etc, but it really seems to be that way.

let me tell you about how this week has gone so far, and you tell me if i am just, and i’m not even sure if this is a word, but i haven’t got time to google it, an exaggerator, wow there wasn’t a red line as i typed it so it must exist, how cool, i am so using exaggerator in every e-mail i send today!

anyway, enough of my affirmation that whittingham school taught me a lot after all, the week went something like this………

monday, i went to see antony and duncan from cotswold outdoor in the cardiff  branch, and part of their support for bigmoose will consist of giving all of our tribe (you) a free 15% discount card, with the sexy bigmoose logo printed on it as well, so if you or any of your social network would like one, no catches whatsoever, no data collection with skanky e-mails every thirty two seconds, just a discount every time you buy kit, drop me a line, and feel free to talk about the offer on social media the more people we get in the tribe the better, and we will try to bring cool offers like this to you as much as possible

wednesday, i met up with nick from david lloyd, and a mate of mine who I used to play hockey with to discuss some business stuff, and my ex defenseman who will remain anonymous as he is a very private chap showed me his new porsche company car, see below, that he has been given, and i said that i wouldn’t want one as they were gas guzzlers, to which he told me it was electric, which although i’m not really into cars, it did take on a new dimension by being electric, the main bit about this story to me was that i was really glad my old mucka that i’ve known for over thirty years is doing really well in life which makes me smile.

after my business meeting i then met up with a couple of people who are also into their anonymity, partly because they are not limelight seekers, and partly because they are just lovely people doing lovely things, without the need for recognition. I have only just met them last week, and this was our second meeting, and without jumping the gun, i think I have found two great human beings who will play a big part in bigmoose.

i ran one of my new ideas by ff and his wife, yes you’re right i do have rather a lot of  ideas, and yes ff sounds like a superhero, but for now that’s what we’ll call him, and they came up with a couple of key elements that they thought needed tweeking, i.e. taking out completely, and we boiled the idea down until we were left with something we all felt could work, and having run this idea by a number of friends we all feel it can work, and will be a brilliant vehicle for our biggest bigmoose project yet, so watch this space.

thursday, was to be a busy one, but totally fun, firstly i met up with abbie wightwick from mediawales, who wrote some articles on my everest adventure, and is a lovely reporter, who has never let me down in what she writes about me.

abbie has said that she would like to do a challenge of some sort, so i wanted to meet up with her to tell her about bigmoose, and see if she felt there was a story there.

it appears there is, which is great, and she is another person to buy into our dreams, and I spent most of our lunch date trying to persuade her to jump into doing the latest huge bigmoose idea, which would be a massive challenge, but you never know, I will update you on my progress on getting her on the team, but a fun lunch nonetheless, and her commitment to run a story when we launch officially was great.

after lunch I drove to birmingham to meet philip gray.

the back story on philip is that I was pointed towards his work by rachael stuchberry who is supporting my mountain art exhibition, date tba, and after looking at his website http://www.philipgray.com/ which tells and shows of his work as an extreme artist, i contacted him cold, and asked if he would support my everest at fifty gig, and he agreed immediately.

during one phone call we had, philip had to rush off as he was setting off on the cannonball run around ireland, where he lives, and anybody who doesn’t know about the cannonball run i will enlighten you in a few words, it is a race with 1200, yes 1200 supercars and 2400 hundred total lunatics driving the aforementioned cars, i quickly decided i liked philip.

 a lot!


fast forward, and philip agreed to do a mountain orientated piece of work as a donation to raise money at the exhibition, and having seen his works sell for over £7.5k I was hugely flattered, and excited.

i was blown away by mr gray’s generosity, the painter mr gray, not the other chap, sorry girls.

But it hasn’t stopped there, oh nooooooooo, after telling philip that we are going to have a black tie do associated with the mountain art exhibition he paused during our conversation, and then said ‘you know what i’m going to do?’ to which i seemed to turn into this ten year old with innocence in my eyes and replied simply ‘no.’

‘i’m going to fly over from Ireland to come to your gig, and then i am going get a blank canvas on stage, have you blindfold me, stop it girls, and then i am going to paint the canvas blindfolded. then I am going to invite members of the audience to apply their own brushstrokes to the painting, and then i will remove the blindfold, and finish the painting, and then we can auction it’



‘really!’ he replied.

this was pre everest, and this is post everest, the world for me has changed, and it was with trepidation that i contacted philip, had his world changed, was he still up for helping?

you my dear reader know he was, philip is one of us, he’s on the good team!

as well as confirming his support, he also told me he was launching his book in birmingham on thursday night, and would be doing a live painting there, so I decide to make the trip to see what he actually does, and so I could manage my expectation for our evening.

i arranged to meet philip in the hotel du vin in brum, a beautiful hotel with a lovely restaurant, and a perfect backdrop for meeting a guy I hoped was gonna be as cool as my perception of him was in my mind.

he entered the bar of the hotel with a stride of confidence, that men who are comfortable with who they are have. casually dressed, but very well groomed, and a tan that was from a weekend on his boat in ireland, bombay and slimline, it was never gonna be gordons.

we chatted like old friends, and apparently had very similar views on life and our futures as quinquagenarian’s.

i liked mr gray.

the time passed very quickly, as it always does when you are enjoying someone’s company, and we agreed I would meet him again at the gallery as he needed to change for the gig.

his exhibition was from 6 till 9, so i fashionably arrived at 7, even though i had been sitting in my car eating strawberries for half an hour just so i didn’t appear too keen, lol!

the gallery was full of energy coming from the throng of philip gray fans, and having spoken to a super enthusiastic girl from the gallery the previous day who was so enthused by his work and the fact that she ‘had a gray’ I was becoming aware of the passion people have for his work.

I mingled and kept my sunglasses on, and i had a tan from recently mowing the lawn, which created a kind of eccentric european buyer look, whereas really I had a bad spell of sneezing and hayfever before entering the whitewall, rendering me looking like a glassy eyed meth head, they’d never know. I worked the room.

a rather strange dancer lady who was older than me but with halitosis chose me as the one to talk to, very closely, and after tolerating her condition for a polite amount of time, i informed her i needed to look at the other work, and moved on.

philip’s work is based on themes and expeditions to borneo, everest, under the sea, etc, and is truly beautiful, and as i studied it more, the more i liked it.

kate from the gallery announced that philip would now paint a piece in front of his audience, and so the magic began.

i have been lucky to witness some great entertainers in my years, but philip was good, very good.

he mixed his paints on a palette, talking to his fans all the time, encouraging questions constantly, and as well as introducing humour and pathos, I watched and smiled as he engaged with a little boy of eight dressed in a three piece suit who apart being the most dapper person in the room, was also a great character, which philip recognised and spoke to him at length, at which the audience almost swooned, i smiled, knowing i was in a room with a great entertainer, and that part of philip’s charm was his emotional connection with his audience.

my thoughts drifted to how great to have this guy at our mountain art exhibition, and how cool to have him to be part of bigmoose, and as he and chatted about him doing the live painting which he would then auction off, he also told me he will be donating another piece already finished as well, so goodness knows how much that will raise, but whatever it is the really important part for me is that i am meeting so many lovely people who make me smile, and have a similar energy to me, and by reading this hopefully you are one of them that i have met, or hopefully will meet on this wonderful journey we are on, onward and upward.

have a fantastic week,

blue skies,


p.s. off to see ran tonight, I haven’t seen him for two years, very excited.